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Row Crops

905 - Blackeye Bean Seedling Rate and Row Spacing Evaluation

Principal Investigator: Carol Frate

Affiliation: UCCE

Contact: cafrate@ucdavis.edu

Lygus bug is the primary insect pest of blackeye cowpeas in the San Joaquin Valley. A minimum of one spray application is expected under commercial production and multiple applications are usually required.  Damage is two-fold: feeding on flowers or young pods aborts developing seeds reducing yield, and feeding on older pods and seeds leaves a blemish on the seed which reduces quality of the harvested product.  Growers have few insecticide options in part due to the relatively small acreage in CA and less interest by chemical companies to register their products on this crop. Currently growers rely on some old materials (dimethoate, Orthene, Lannate) and newer pyrethroids to which this insect develops resistance. Newer, reduced risk insecticides have been registered in other crops such as cotton and have been evaluated to some extent in blackeyes. The objectives of this trial are to evaluate several of these newer insecticides.

461 - Specialty Crop Evaluation in San Joaquin Valley

Principal Investigator: Manuel Jimenez

Affiliation: UCCE

Contact: mjjimrnrz@ucdavis.edu

Small acreage vegetable growers always seek new specialty crops to remain competitive in the market place. Some small acreage growers are most competitive growing high labor intensive crops because often, their biggest resource is family labor.  Identifying specialty crops that fit the special needs of diverse family farm units is essential for profitability and economic viability of California Agriculture.  Because nice crops are a moving target, it is essential that new crop and improved variety development be continuous.  The objective of this particular research project is to continually identify new crop opportunities.  Over the last three years, we have tried to demonstrate collections of specialty vegetables that would potentially fit well into a direct marketing situation for small acreage producers and limited resource farmers.  We accomplished this by planting a multitude of varieties of each crop with the anticipation that individual growers would identify specific varieties that would match their market niche.  Additionally, we conducted integrated pest management (IPM) work to assist growers in developing pest management strategies that are common sense, safe, efficacious and cost effective on these minor crops.  Several hundred growers have attended our specialty crop field days and meetings.  Also, during the review period, more than 150 growers made personal visits to KAC to view the specialty crop research trials.

1309 - NASA California Ecosystem Airborne Measurement

Principal Investigator: Susan Ustin

Affiliation: UC Davis

Contact: slustin@ucdavis.edu

Using the California transects for the ongoing NASA HyspIRI Preparatory Airborne Campaign in 2013-2014, we will assess the potential to make spatially explicit estimates of two important parameters characterizing leaf and canopy photosynthetic capacity: the maximum rate of CO2 carboxylation by RuBisCo (Vc,max), and the maximum rate of electron transport (Jmax). These variables are typically determined using measures of leaf gas exchange, but we have identified an approach to estimate Vc,max and Jmax using spectroscopy (Serbin et al., 2012). The research is being conducted across two climate-elevation gradients in California, and spanning vegetation gradients from managed agriculture lands to coastal sage and chaparral to oak woodlands and closed-canopy conifer forests. For two years, combined hyperspectral and thermal infrared imagery is being collected at key intervals during the growing season along each climate-elevation gradient.  Specifically, we are calibrating leaf-level spectroscopic models with gas exchange data to estimate Vc,max and Jmax across diverse species, including agricultural species.  We are then scaling this information, spatially, using NASA airborne AVIRIS+MASTER imagery.  Our project will provide detailed, spatial information that is crucial for understanding plant responses to global change, land management, and monitoring agricultural productivity over broad scales.

1303 - Effects of Nitrogen Upon Wheat Protein

Principal Investigator: Steve Wright

Affiliation: UCCE

Contact: sdwright@ucdavis.edu

Abstract: Provide an abstract of 250 words or less, describing the project and the issues being addressed for use in the Center’s Annual Report and web site. Growers seek both high yield and high protein content to improve the profitability of wheat production.  This can be difficult to achieve especially with many of the newer higher yielding wheat varieties.  University of California studies in the 1980’s demonstrated late-season N applications conducted in the San Joaquin Valley increased grain protein content by 0.5 to 2 percent depending on rate and timing. This work was done with Yecora Rojo (already a high nitrogen accumulating wheat variety). Up until last year Joaquin a HR wheat was planted on significant amounts of acreage largely because of it yield, earliness, but mostly because it was easier to reach higher protein levels than other available HR wheats.  Research is needed to evaluate the effectiveness of this practice on a range of newer varieties to quantify the level nitrogen and proper timing needed to achieve both high protein and yields.  To accomplish this research objective a study is proposed in the southern San Joaquin Valley.   This study should compliment a similar study with similar treatments planned to be conducted in Siskiyou County with different varieties so that we have a range of varieties, seasonal variation, and at least 2 years of data.  This study is a follow up to work done in 2011, however with new treatments and more locations are planned for 2012-2013. The study conducted in 2012 was a failure.  Two major commercial hard red and one hard white wheat varieties and a Durum variety are planned to be evaluated to determine their yield and protein content with and without late-season N applications.